A hearing by the House Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee last week drew attention to the impending insolvency of the Disability Insurance (DI) trust fund in 2016. While there were some disagreements, there was also a clear bipartisan consensus that something must be done to shore up the finances of Social Security.
The hearing featured testimony from Charles Blahous, a public trustee for Social Security, Ed Lorenzen of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, and Webster Phillips from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
All three agreed that, given the limited time between now and the exhaustion of the DI trust fund, it would be impossible to avoid a draconian cut in disability benefits without reallocating some of the payroll tax from OASI (the retirement program) to DI. Congress last reallocated the payroll tax in 1994.
However, both Blahous and Lorenzen strongly advocated that...